Saturday, June 17, 2006

Starting my own blog...

I enjoy reading potters’ blogs—no matter what they write about. So I have toyed with the idea of starting my own blog. But “fear of failure” has kept me from it. Finally, yesterday, I bit the bullet and created my blog site but when it came to writing something--I froze and left the site without making an entry. But I am going to make an attempt. So here goes. I have two recent experiences to share.

The first was a recent trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. I had been told by two different friends that there was a Japanese ceramic exhibition at the Folk Art Museum there that I “MUST” see. So when Jim was contemplating a trip to Santa Fe to connect with a friend for a train trip to Los Angeles I claimed a ride to Santa Fe on that trip. We drove out together and I drove back alone—which meant that I could take as much time as I wanted for visiting the exhibition. I made 3 trips to the museum to peruse the collection—which was not extensive. There were about 100 pieces in the whole exhibit which covered 50 centuries of Japanese ceramics—from about 3,000 BC to the present—all a part of the collection of an American who now lives in Switzerland. I have a strong affinity for Japanese ceramics so it was a real treat to see the development of that art over such a long period of time. Beginning with the Jamon period pieces the collection moved through periods of emulating Chinese blue-and-white ware and into what I think of as the real Japanese ceramics. At the current era of the exhibition there were pieces by Hamada, Kawai Kanjiro and even by Bernard Leach. What a treat!

I stumbled onto another rich experience through a comment that Ron Roy made recently on Clayart. He mentioned getting out his copy of Michael Cardew’s book, “Pioneer Pottery”, to look for a bit of information. Then he mentioned how much he enjoyed re-encountering Cardew’s work and appreciating what a wonderful writer he was. So I ordered the book sight unseen. When it arrived I was a bit disappointed. It had few pictures—I’ve come to expect lots of pictures in the ceramic books published these days—and it looked highly technical—over my head. But when I was browsing through the book I began reading in the last chapter—and was captivated. It is such a wonderful discussion of the “art of the craft” and set in an historical perspective that was very stimulating. I had read that Cardew had had an exceptional education and that certainly showed in this writing. Prompted by this rich experience I began re-browsing the book and found it much more approachable and helpful than I first thought.

No comments: